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Installing Ubuntu Christian Edition: a (spiritual) test of patience and perseverance January 19, 2007

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in First Impressions, How-To, Linux, Linux Mint, Other Distros, Reviews, Screenshots, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Christian, Working on Linux.

UbuntuCEScreenshot(latest update: Currently I’m working on Ubuntu Christian 2.1. I upgraded from 2.1 using the script provided by Ubuntu CE. It worked basically ok, though it messed up a few settings, and so my windows pager is not working correctly.)

No, I’m not joking! Ubuntu Christian Edition (CE) 2.0 (based on Ubuntu 6.10, ‘Edgy’) was a horror to install, probably the worst Ubuntu install I’ve ever seen. Read on only if you want to hear the sordid tale (that only-just ends happily ie. I’m writing on Ubuntu CE).

Preamble: why did I choose Ubuntu CE?

Well, I might as well admit it. I am a Christian. But when I heard of Ubuntu Christian I was both bemused and bothered. Being from a country where American Christianity is often viewed by non-Christians as bigoted, aggressive and close-minded, I guess I was a little scared to choose to be associated with this derivative that came possibly from that stock.

However as I continued working with Linux, I realised the need for more Christian software. In Windows I needed to use BibleWorks… but there seemed to be no such software in Linux… until I read about Sword. I was impressed that there was SOME bible stuff in Linux, and though the quality didn’t match BibleWorks, at least it was a start. I tried installing it onto my (then I was using Ubuntu 5.10 I think)… and Sword just wouldn’t install. There was a problem. In openSUSE (my current favourite), there was no bible software in the popular repositories.

Finally, as I reported earlier, with the demise of my Linux Mint 2.1 boot process… it was time to change. And rather than reinstall Linux Mint, I decided to go for Ubuntu Christian Edition.

But why Christian? Well… it had some Bible software (and a Christian environment that was not too oppressive). But most importantly, it came with Automatix. Now that was a surprise… and yet a pleasant one. Rather than download Automatix, I was hoping that Ubuntu CE would be multimedia ready. (I soon discovered that it had to be made multimedia ready, but the process was made easy through Automatix). Anyway, that was the logic. On to the installation.

Installation: Live CD Configuration Problems

10:20pm I check the CD for errors. There were none (cf. the previous K3B post. See, no errors!).

10:23pm starting the LiveCD installer

10:48pm my 4th crash! It didn’t even allow me to install.

Report: The first problem I faced was in the LiveCD stage. Usually I like to configure the computer at the LiveCD stage (ie. screen resolution, network etc) to see whether the machine is working. However, when I tried to configure, network especially, the LiveCD constantly crashed. I had to reboot three times, and strangely the LiveCD (VGA) display was not even the same one time I rebooted. Why would LiveCD change my screen resolution randomly? Anyway, at 10:42 I decided to install without making any configuration changes. And it worked. ps. It took a long time to make the partitions as I wanted, and at one time, the same thing like Linux Mint happened… it didn’t accept my / partition and said I needed one. I solved the problem by deleting the partitions and starting again.

Installation: LiveCD copying files problems

10:48pm copying installation files

11:16pm beeping sound… copying files crashed at 54%! (I might as well copy and paste the word crash since I’ve been using it so much!!!).

I remembered a verse, partly as a joke, and partly as a reality, that

…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us… Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)

What an apt verse for this installation process. Anyway, back to the install.

I decided to try again. I had already gone so far, I might as well move forward rather than back, I thought.

Installation: Yet another attempt, this time more successful

With a very quick install configuration, I was copying files by 11:22pm (within 5-6 minutes of restarting).

11:26pm… I saw the copying files at 53%… then 54%… and then 55%… ah! I sighed in relief. made it!

I continued with a little fear, anxiety… but by 11:31, I was ready to restart computer without LiveCD.

Installation complete

11:34pm I was logging on to a brand new Ubuntu Christian Edition. (Screenshot below.)


After configuring network, which was painless, I had over 159.1 MB of updates waiting for installation!

Automatix, sadly, was simply installed but not implemented… so I had to basically install everything… like I did for Linux Mint (yes I even did it for Linux Mint though I didn’t need it because there were some programmes/fonts I wanted… but it took almost 3 hours!!!). For that, I’ll have to wait.


I really like Ubuntu (all Ubuntus) bootloaders. They always recognise everything, pretty much accurately. In fact, there have been many times that I’ve had to install Ubuntu after other Linux installations because some Linux distros are incapable of recognising others. Of course it would be nice to have a splash screen like openSUSE, but the functionality of Ubuntu bootloaders (even this one) is excellent.

Another thing I liked was that Ubuntu’s Christian theme is not in-your-face. I had feared doomsday or pasture-ish splash screens and wallpapers but thankfully someone with a lot of design sense has kept it simple. I also like the globe pointing to my part of the world! Nice touch (for me).

Of course, Ubuntu installs are not this painful and I don’t know why Ubuntu CE suffered so much. I really really struggled and would rather just upload a current Ubuntu install rather than install CE directly… that’s if these problems are normal.

Another thing that’s really irritating is that my screen is chopped off by an inch on either side. So I’m basically living with a 17in monitor that looks like a 15in monitor. Right now, I’m just glad to have Ubuntu CE working, but it’s going to bother me soon.

Finally, I do like this distro… but I’m not convinced it’s better than openSUSE, or even better that Ubuntu pure. However, I’m going to persevere with it for a bit… and see.

>>>Right now I’m struggling with Flikr.com which is not allowing me to sign-in because it is saying my cookies are not enabled… but I tell you, they are! they are! not a good start, is it?



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4. tracyanne - January 21, 2007

Maybe you should have prayed more.

5. NAyK - January 21, 2007

To tracyanne: hmmm. maybe. However, I do believe that “suffering does develop perseverence” (ie. we needen’t run away from suffering)… and so, the above ain’t a complaint, but a proclamation of growth. heh heh. :)

6. tracyanne - January 22, 2007

Maybe it was God’s way of telling you to pray more.

7. NAyK - January 22, 2007

to tracyanne… or… my suffering is a witness… so that readers… such as …. umm… umm… (like those who preach)… may learn and draw closer to the truth by practicing more what indeed must always be done. :)

(ps. I hope this is banter, if not, please don’t take me wrongly. I come from a context where jest about religion can lead to riots… so this is just a cautionary disclaimer). :)

8. tracyanne - January 22, 2007

Of course I jest.

9. NAyK - January 22, 2007

to tracyanne: “*Phew* that’s a relief!” (says NAyK, wiping sweat off his brow) :)

10. Anonymous - August 8, 2009

Ubuntu CE V5 beta version is out, soon we will have production release.
This time I plan to release server version as well, mainly for small church. It would provide church administration software and web server ready for deployment as well as prayer request board.

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